iPhone 8 design will be challenging for Apple to pull off

Apple’s iPhone design has rough remained unchanged since the company introduced its larger-screened iPhone 6 lineup in 2014. Sure, there have been slight aesthetic changes — such as the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack — but the overall look and feel of the iPhone is arguably outdated.

Not to fear, the release of Apple’s iPhone 8 is poised to change all that. Based on a number of leaks from reputable sources with solid track records, it’s widely believed that the iPhone 8 will feature an edge to edge 5.8-inch OLED display. Of course, this begs the question: what happens to the home button, Touch ID and the iPhone’s front facing camera?

Well, Apple has reportedly been working on methods for embedding all of the above into the display itself. Far more than conjecture, Apple has filed a number of patents detailing technologies and manufacturing processes to allow for embedding items like a Touch ID sensor into a display. Of course, the road a patented technology must take before it appears in a shipping product is often fraught with hurdles, something Apple is currently dealing with right now.

According to a new analyst report from Timothy Arcuri, an analyst over at Cowen and Company, early production on iPhone 8 prototypes has resulted in low yields for the display. Originally reported by AppleInsider, Arcuri’s note reads in part: “For the 5.8-inch OLED version, the biggest bottleneck remains integrating an under-glass fingerprint sensor into the display— the current yield rate of Apple’s in-house AuthenTec solution remains low and AAPL seems unwilling to use other vendors’ products.”

Consequently, Apple is left with a few options. It can push back the iPhone 8 release date, something Apple presumably wants to avoid at all costs. Notably, we’ve already seen rumors that the iPhone 8 release date may be pushed back as far as November so that Apple can handle what will likely be unprecedented demand. If Apple is dead-set on following its historical timetable and releasing the iPhone 8 in September, it might opt to place the Touch ID sensor on the back of the device. While this admittedly sounds unlikely — and decidedly at odds with Apple’s design sensibilities — a recently leaked schematic of the iPhone 8 demonstrates that Apple has at the very least contemplated such a design.

Without question, placing the Touch ID sensor on the back would negate the ease of use and efficiency that makes the feature so compelling in the first place.

Having said that, the schematic above is reportedly just one design Apple was experimenting with and we can only hope that Apple will be able to surmount any difficulties it currently faces with respect to embedding the sensor into the device’s OLED display. That said, note the EVT designation on the table to the right of the render. This stands for Engineering Validation Test and signals that the render above was created early on in the iPhone development process, further giving us hope that the final iPhone 8 design will be much sleeker than what is illustrated above.

In short, we can’t imagine Apple releasing a sub-par iPhone 8 design or getting rid of Touch ID and replacing it with facial recognition technology.

It’s also interesting that the orientation of the camera module on the back is positioned vertically as opposed to horizontally. While a departure from previous iPhone designs, this is in line with a number of other leaks which relay that the change is being made to accompany new 3D camera sensors which will reportedly be used for augmented reality purposes.

As to the final iPhone 8 design, a more recent report claims that Apple’s next-gen iPhone will feature a 4mm bezel all around the display. As for iPhone 8 specs and pricing, we’ve recently seen reports that the iPhone 8 price won’t be as high as the $1,000 price point we saw being floated around earlier in the year. Additionally, Apple’s iPhone 8, as a flagship device, will reportedly come with 3GB of RAM and will be sold in only two storage configurations: 64GB and 256GB. Other features to look forward to include a next-gen Ax processor, improved water resistance and perhaps the best battery life we’ve ever seen on an iPhone to date.

All in all, the impending iPhone 8 release is the primary reason why shares of Apple have skyrocketed in recent months. At the close of the bell on Friday, shares of Apple were trading at $141.05, marking an impressive 56% gain from the stock’s 52-week low of $90 last May.

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